Let’s pretend you’re on a date.
You’ve been seeing this person for about six weeks, and tonight is the best date so far. You are finally feeling comfortable and having a decent time at dinner.
At the end of the night, a slight drizzle is falling as you exit the restaurant. Feeling good about the evening you just had, you suggest an upcoming concert for a possible next date. That’s when it happens.
“Actually, I don’t think we should go out again…”
“I’m sorry, I’m just not feeling the connection. Thanks for the nice evening, though.”
You’re feeling confused as they walk away, because it seemed like they had a good time at dinner– everything seemed to go smoothly for once. Good food, good wine, conversation flowed well… You shrug your shoulders and head for home. At least you got some good leftovers out of the deal.
But still, you wonder, why no 4th date?
Interaction vs. Relationship
The quality of the dinner didn’t matter. Not even the best steak in the world would have saved you. You were doomed before the wine was even ordered.
Why? Because from the other person’s perspective, the relationship wasn’t working. The *overall feeling* from the previous dates, phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, had convinced them that this was not a good fit.
It turns out a “nice evening” doesn’t mean someone isn’t about to walk off and leave you standing on the sidewalk holding a doggie-bag.
You Need a “Relationship Check”.
When you survey your members about recent transactions, you’re asking how the date went, and the answer covers the transaction, like a “date”. While this is important, it’s not the only survey you should be using.
A good transactional survey score doesn’t tell you if your *overall relationship* is in trouble. Understanding your relationship status will impact how you handle future interactions. That’s the logic behind a Relationship Survey.
The Transaction Survey asks “how did we do?”
The Relationship Survey asks “how are we doing overall?”
Get a Program that Can Do Both
The ideal survey program has both. If yours doesn’t, you should check out LiveSurvey. Relationship surveys on a semi-annual basis will provide the high-level answer to the overall relationship status. Transaction surveys should go out in real-time as transactions are completed.
Lead with a Relationship Survey
If you are looking to start surveying your members, starting with an NPS-based relationship survey has three major benefits:
1. Gives a good baseline for all future efforts
2. Touches every member once to establish that you are seeking to hear their voices
3. Gives you 30 days to process the results while preparing to launch your transactional surveys.
This isn’t to say that transaction surveys aren’t important. They absolutely are. Transaction surveys track the “pulse” of how your members experience the credit union day in and day out. Ultimately, it’s those small transactions (like multiple dates) that build the relationship picture.
But the relationship surveys are where it all starts, and ultimately ends. Member loyalty is only truly valuable at the relationship level, even if it’s driven by individual transactions.